Ahead of Chinese premier Li Keqiang’s visit here from May 19, India has proposed a military-level mechanism aimed at controlling adversarial incidents — the kind witnessed recently in the Despang valley in April — and keeping the peace and tranquility along the border.
The mechanism of coordination and cooperation at the military commander-level is proposed after the failure of flag meetings. Having an ear to the ground would complement the flag meetings and the mechanism that exists now between the two foreign ministries to deal with border incidents, senior government sources told HT.
The Indian proposal is in response to a draft Border Defence Cooperation Agreement (BDCA) framed by China.
However, it seems like a long haul before the two countries agree on any new mechanism on border management, and it will not be anything “altogether new”.
There are reservations in certain quarters in India about the Chinese proposal, which the government is looking at.
The government sources say it is “more realistic” to see “concrete movement in this area” when Prime Minister Manmohan Singh visits Beijing later this year. But the Indian side believes better “communication at the area commander- level” could help in better “handling of the incidents of incursions arising out of differing perceptions about the line of actual control”.
And, the flag meets have been found “not enough to sort out the issues quick enough” as the orders have to come from the top.
Under BDCA, China has proposed a slew of measures for the expansion of friendly contacts and more communication between the troops of the two sides on the ground that will preempt adverse incidents along the line of actual control.
India and China share an unsettled boundary of over 4,000 km. The last incident of incursion in the Despang valley lasted more than two weeks to settle and it cast a shadow over the bilateral ties just ahead of Li’s visit.